This is the official blog of the Nigeria-based Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), a human rights organization which promotes, protects and projects the rights of Muslims. This group condemns terrorism and all acts of violence. Its motto is 'Dialogue, Not Violence'
WITHDRAWAL OF TAMBUWAL’S SECURITY AIDES:
JONATHAN IS NOT THINKING OF NIGERIA
The security details of Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, Speaker of the
House of Representatives, were removed on Thursday 30th October,
2014. Justifying the action, the Nigerian Police claimed that by defecting to
the opposition party, the Speaker was in breach of Section 68(1)(g) of the 1999
constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
This is a lame and untenable excuse. Even a child knows that the
action was not taken independently by the police. The latter merely followed
orders from above. By this action, Allah-Given fundamental human right of the
Speaker has been bridged. The Nigerian authorities have demonstrated severally that they are
incapable of providing a level playing field for the ruling party and the
Otherwise let them tell Nigerians what happened to Governor
Mimiko when he defected just a few days ago to the ruling party? Was his
security aides withdrawn? Wasn’t the Inspector General of Police aware of
Mimiko’s defection? What about the travails of Governor Rotimi Amaechi whose
security details were withdrawn earlier?
Can the authorities explain what has happened to Tambuwal’s
security men? Where are they now? Has the Nigerian Police dispatched them to a
new ‘Speaker’ appointed by the police? Is the IG aware of the implications of
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) strongly condemns this
action. It is capable of plunging the nation into deeper crisis than it is
right now. It was a thoughtless, unwise and irrational action.The departure of ambassadors is a
prelude to war. A former Minister of Justice was assassinated after his police
details allegedly ‘went for lunch’.
MURIC invites President Jonathan to sober reflection. Posterity is bound to judge his actions
and inactions. It is unthinkable for Mr. President to allow the withdrawal of
the security details of a sitting Speaker in a country plagued by terrorism. It
means anything can happen to the Speaker. The buck stops at President Jonathan’s
table. Nigerians must therefore hold the president responsible for anything
that happens to Hon. Tambuwal.
It is clear from all indications that President Jonathan is
not thinking of Nigeria at all. All he is thinking of is how to secure a second
term. The grave security situation in the North East means nothing to Mr.
President. Men are falling in battle in Mubi, Adamawa State. As at yesterday, Mararraban
Pella Junction has become a military cantonment of sorts for Nigeria’s gallant
Children below the age of five who have lost contact with
their parents are competing with adults in running towards Pella on their way
to Yola. Thousands are trekking. Their feet are swollen. They are hungry and
thirsty but there is neither food nor water.
Yet our president is not thinking of this human catastrophe of
monumental proportion. He is keen on creating more security problems. Can we
imagine what will happen next if terrorists kidnap Tambuwal? Every Nigerian heard Asari Dokubo when he
threatened to go violent with Alhaji Lai Muhammed, spokesperson of the
opposition. Yet nobody called him to order. Was the police deaf at the time? Was Aso
Rock taking a nap at the time?
By allowing such open threats to go unpunished and
uninvestigated, the security agencies have exposed not only their ineptitude
but their partisanship.
Nigeria is getting worse under President Jonathan. His
kinsmen can do anything and get away with it, a la Animal Farm. President
Jonathan, the Chief Law Officer of Nigeria, is encouraging lawlessness. The man
who swore to defend the unity of Nigeria is dividing Nigeria.
MURIC advises the Nigerian Police to tow the path of
professionalism and neutrality. It is the only way they can render service with
dignity. We charge the IG to immediately and unconditionally restore the security
details of Hon. Aminu Tambuwal. He remains the Speaker until he leaves office.
We advise the honourable members of the House of Representatives
to think first of this country before taking any action on this and other
issues. We call on
President Jonathan to allow due process in the subject-matter. The principle of
separation of power must be respected and the president must avoid wielding
insolent and despotic power.
Nigeria is presently at the precipice of political hurly bully. Any
attempt by the president to use the Deputy Speaker or the security agents to
railroad the House of Representatives into taking illegal actions is likely to
plunge this country into the abyss of political crisis.
Shaykh Uthman Bin Fudi (Uthman Dan Fodio) once opined that “In
an unjust society, silence is a crime”.MURIC therefore invites members of the civil society and all men
and women of good conscience to speak up. According to Martin Luther, "Injustice
anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
If they can do this to the fourth most powerful man in the land
and get away with it, there is no hope for the man in the street. J. F. Kennedy
once warned that the rights of every man “are diminished when the rights of one
man are trampled.”
OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY THE JOINT MUSLIM FORUM (JMF) ON THE RULING
ON HIJAB AND THE DEMAND OF LAGOS CHRISTIANS FOR A CHRISTIAN GOVERNOR
AT THE RAHMAT ISLAMIYAH HALL, IKEJA, ON THURSDAY, 23RD OCTOBER, 2014
guests, leaders of Islamic organisations present, Brothers and Sisters in
Islam, Gentlemen of the press, As-Salaam Alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa
barakatuhu. I welcome you to this press briefing on behalf of the Joint
Muslim Forum (JMF). JMF is a Muslim, non-governmental and non-profit
organization with no political affiliations but serves as a platform for
several well-meaning and progressive Muslim Organizations in Lagos State.
You are all aware of
the agitation of Muslims in the South-West for their female children to be
allowed to use hijab in public schools. This is a yearning propelled by
religious obligation as the Qur’an commands all female Muslims to use hijab.
As part of the background, we must also remind you of the inhuman
treatments meted out to female Muslim students by Christian teachers over the
hijab saga. On February
5, 2013, an 11 year-old student, Aisha Alabi of Kadara Junior High
School, Ebute Metta, was given 43 lashes of the cane on the school’s assembly
ground for not removing her hijab after an Islamic Religious Knowledge class where
the veil is allowed. It is our contention that 43 lashes for an 11 year-old is
the height of inhumanity.
Another student, Bareerah Tajudeen of Mafoluku
Senior Grammar School, Oshodi, on February 20, last year, had her hijab removed
and trampled on by the school principal, Mrs. Elizabeth Omidele. This act of
religious apartheid occurred outside the school premises, not within the school
These are just two of several cases of
religious persecution which Christian teachers unleash on female Muslim
students in Lagos State. To add salt to injury, The Lagos State
Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, in a press conference
addressed on Tuesday, 14th May, 2013 placed a ban on the use of
hijab and head scarf by female Muslim pupils in public schools in Lagos State. She stated that Muslims who want
their children to use hijab should take their children to Muslim private
schools. This was a highly provocative pronouncement.
Instead of taking the law into their hands, the
Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN) took the matter to court seeking to
vacate the ban placed on hijab by the state government.
Onyeabor, in a suit
filed against the government, by the MSSN, Lagos State
Area Unit, through
their lawyer, Chief Gani Adetola-Kazeem (SAN), held that the ban was not discriminatory.The judge held that Nigeria’s ‘secular’ nature
as provided by Section 10 of the Constitution must be preserved by the
pronouncements, Justice Onyeabor has simply demonstrated to all and sundry that
the tragedy of the Nigerian judiciary lies in the runaway nature of justice in
Nigeria. This is a travesty of justice. This judge has ruled against natural
law. Nigeria is not a secular state but a multi-religious one and no section of
the constitution declares Nigeria as a secular state. In fact the word
‘secular’ is not in our constitution.
our case be dismissed when there are precedents? It is on record that the High
Court of Lagos State relied on sections 38 and 42 of the Constitution in Suit
No ID/424M/2004 – Fatimoh Abidemi Rasak
& 3Ors Vs Commissioner for Health, Lagos State & 2Ors to shoot down
and declare unconstitutional a circular issued by the Lagos State School of
Health Technology banning the students from wearing hijab.
Again in the Court of Appeal in
Ilorin in the case of "The Provost, Kwara State College of Education,
Ilorin Vs Bashirat Saliu in suit number CA/IL/49/2009 ruled that "the use
of veil by female Muslims qualifies as a fundamental right under section 38 of
on the MSSN Hijab case is therefore illogical, inexplicable and a total
miscarriage of justice. The learned judge erred by averring that hijab creates
a sense of inferiority in those who do not use it. It is laughable. How can
the hijab used by a Muslim student give others inferiority complex? Should
those who want hijab therefore remain perpetually under oppression and lack of
posers for the Lagos State Government (LASG) on the hijab affair. Why is it
that on one hand the state claims to promote girl-child education and on the
other hand openly discriminates against female Muslim students whose crime is
the wearing of hijab to school? Is LASG aware that even in UK, US and other Western
countries (except France) where Muslims are in the minority, the female Muslim
students in public schools are allowed to wear hijab?
LASG aware that Ekiti State by circular No. EK/SSG/01/375 of 12th
December, 2013 has permitted female Muslim pupils in public schools to use
hijab? Governor Kayode Fayemi is a
Christian and Muslims constitute only about 40% of the state’s population.
Lagos has a Muslim governor. Lagos has a preponderant Muslim population and
Muslims in the state have been asking Lagos government to approve hijab for
female Muslim children for years. This is the paradox called LASG! Or is Ekiti
part of Saudi Arabia?
must explain to Nigerians why hijab is acceptable on school uniforms in the
whole of Northern Nigeria, Ekiti, Oyo and Osun states but it is an anathema in
Lagos. How many constitutions do we operate in Nigeria? Lagos has
simply become the epicentre of religious stigmatisation against Muslims. One
must ask for how long will the fragile peace last? Lagos may be sitting on a
keg of gunpowder.
Hijab is a religious duty for Muslim
women and failure to use it is a sin against Allah. Any employer who
stigmatizes or victimizes a Muslim woman on account of her wearing hijab has
also violated her Allah-given fundamental human right.
of a Muslim woman for using hijab constitutes a breach of Section 38 (i) &
(ii) of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution. The African Union Charter on Human and
Peoples’ Rights proclaims in Article 4, Clause 1 & 2 that “Human beings are
inviolable. Every human being shall be entitled to respect for his life and the
integrity of his person.” Nigeria is a signatory to this charter.
provisions of Article 18 of the United Nations Charter and Articles 9 and 14 of
the European Treaty of Human Rights and Articles 18 and 19 of the Treaty of
Civil and Political Rights also criminalise religious profiling.
What the Muslims are
demanding in the issue of hijab is their Allah-given fundamental human right. They are not asking
anyone to put hijab on Christian pupils. They want to dress the way the Qur’an
commands them. Freedom of religion is one of the civil liberties enjoyed in a
civilized society. Lagos should not deny this religious right. Hijab is used on
school uniform in Britain and Ireland. Female Muslim police use hijab on their
uniform. That is true liberalism and advanced democracy.
stigma for anyone to hate the sight of Muslims or to claim that the sight of
Muslim pupils in hijab is capable of causing religious crisis. The fact of the matter is that the current uniform used in schools is
Christian uniform imposed on Nigerians by Christian colonial masters. It suits
Christian culture and that is why Christians are not complaining. But it
constitutes a violent assault on the psyche of true and practicing Muslims.
That is why Muslims are complaining. But will LASG want to be seen as imposing
Christian culture on Muslims and denying the latter of their well-deserved
dividend of democracy?
aware of secret agreements between Christian leaders and certain foreign
powers. They have pledged to enforce Christian culture on Muslim children
through education. They also vowed never to allow any Islamic landmark in the
Nigerian society but to vigorously sustain Christian values and to force same
on Muslim children so that Islam may eventually be eliminated in Nigeria.
JMF seeks to know the true democrats. Where
does LASG stand? On the side of religious freedom or on the side of the oppressors?
It is unfortunate that by its actions and utterances, LASG has not only
willingly become a tool in the hands of the villains, but it has become an
active participant in the brutal assault on the liberty of Muslims in Lagos
We call the
attention of the judiciary and indeed other stakeholders to the fact that so
many states in Nigeria allow the use of Hijab in public schools and this has
not been known or reported to destroy uniformity sought by government in the
issuance of dress code. We wonder how Lagos State’s case is different.
We call on the state government to voluntarily
ignore the judgement and uphold the right of female Muslim students by issuing
directive to school heads and principals to allow use of hijab to students who
subscribe to its use. In this way the
government would have shown that it is father to all and does not alienate any
section of the community. This step does not in any way offend the so-called
Nigeria’s secular nature as provided for in Section 10 of the Constitution.
to remind the government that the judgement if implemented is capable of
creating avoidable tension and crisis and thereby destroy the peaceful
co-existence and religious tolerance which the state currently enjoys. We are
not in doubt whatsoever that some overzealous teachers, school heads and
principals will take full advantage of the judgement to taunt and victimise
female Muslim students as witnessed in the recent past.
LAGOS 2015: ‘NO HIJAB, NO VOTE’:
Having been pushed to the wall, the Muslims of
Lagos State have no alternative than to use what they have to get what they
want. Election fever has gripped politicians as we draw near February 2015. We have resolved to give our votes
to any candidate from any political party who is ready to grant us religious
freedom. We will vote for those who will approve the use of hijab in schools no
matter what their political affiliation. This suffering is too much. LASG
treats Muslims with disdain. Enough is enough. Our slogan for LAGOS 2015 is
therefore: NO HIJAB, NO VOTE!
FOR A CHRISTIAN GOVERNOR IN LAGOS:
It is no
longer news that a selfish and misguided section of our Christian brothers have
called for a Christian Governor in Lagos State come 2015. The overwhelming
majority of Lagosians and well meaning citizens have rejected this divisive and
parochial call noting that it is an undemocratic and disgraceful desperation
for power which raises questions about the motive behind such call.
We at JMF reiterate our total rejection of such
campaign and call on Lagosians to reject any
candidate that emerges (from any of the political parties) on account of
subterranean or disguised religious sponsorship. We enjoin Lagosians once again
not to allow mediocrity and religious sentiment to becloud their sense of
reasoning in the choice of the candidate they will elect to govern the state.
be uppermost in the mind of all is the development of the state and the welfare
and security of all Lagosians.Merit and
demonstrated capacity to govern must be the criteria to determine the next
governor of the state. Lagos is a peaceful state with religious harmony. Lagosians
should be weary and distant themselves from selfish pseudo politicians (in
religious guise) who want to create hatred and disaffection among them through
religious sentiment. We condemn this backward and retrogressive approach to
political power and call on the people to be vigilant.
want to alert Lagosians that in spite of this condemnation by well meaning
citizens of Lagos State, the proponents of a Christian Governor did not desist.
They appear bent on creating religious crisis and disharmony in the state. They
have carried their campaign to the major political parties and have “anointed”
candidates for the parties. We call on all party supporters and Lagosians in
general to be vigilant. We ask them to reject any candidate foisted on them on the
basis of religious sentiment irrespective of political party platform.
alert unsuspecting Lagosians that the antics of these self seeking religious
bigots and individuals are not limited to the political parties and religious
platforms but include traditional rulers’ platform, the social media, bogus
skill acquisition, employment /empowerment deceit, financial inducement
otherwise known as stomach infrastructure, “free” medical check up and
treatment, and all kinds of tactics. Beware and be warned.
It is also
very sad and unfortunate that some of our Muslim brothers and we dare say
sisters have fallen prey to these antics and have started to position
themselves to take advantage of this retrogressive idea.
Let it be put on record that Lagos State Muslims did
not at any time nor in any forum accept the call for a Christian Governor not
to talk of endorsing or adopting any Muslim Candidate as Deputy Governor. We,
the Muslims of Lagos State dissociate ourselves completely from this
embarrassing, misleading and deceptive quest for “political power” through the
committed to democratic norms and principles in the election of governor for
Lagos State. Our stand is that candidates should emerge on the basis of merit
and demonstrated capacity and capability to move Lagos State forward and
consolidate on the existing level of development.We are for the steady development, security,
peace and welfare of Lagosians irrespective of the religious affiliation of
governorship election candidates. We will educate our people and all Lagosians
and pitch our tent behind any candidate from any party or from any religion who
emerges to contest governorship election in the State on the basis of merit and
not because he or she was anointed or sponsored on religious affinity or
As a matter of fact we Muslims in Lagos State are
the ones who truly deserve to call for a True Muslim Governor. It is on record
that the so-called Muslim Governors that have governed the state since 1999
have never supported any Muslim cause. On the contrary, Muslims have suffered
discrimination both in terms of actions and policies of the state. There is no
single policy of the state that has favoured the Muslims or put Muslims in any
advantage beyond other non-Muslims. The list of such anti-Islam policies and
actions are endless with the education of our children being the most adversely
As we speak
today, none of the six Tutors General in the state is a Muslim despite the
gentleman agreement to balance such appointments at the commencement of the
policy. Same is true of most other appointments in spite of the fact that
qualified and deserving Muslims are available in large numbers.Furthermore and in spite of international
best practices which allows the use of hijab, female Muslims in the state are
asked to remove their hijab in ‘documentation’ offices
where their pictures are required. Failure to do so could jeopardise their
access to statutory rights.
We use the
opportunity of this press conference to call on Governor Babatunde Raji
Fashola, SAN and his government to promote religious harmony in the state and
reverse the discriminatory policies of his government against the Muslims who
have given him and his administration support and demonstrated goodwill for
peaceful co-existence even in the face of blatant provocations. Specifically,
we call on him to follow or even go beyond the example of Ekiti State by
enacting laws which forbid all forms of discriminations against Muslims in the
cause of upholding the tenets and practises of their religion.
Hijab must be allowed in schools and workplaces
including hospitals. Morning assembly prayers in schools must be standardised
and not left to the whims and caprices of the Head Teacher or Principal. Arabic
and Islamic Religious Knowledge teachers must be employed to teach the subjects
in schools. Muslim Science students should not be prevented from taking Islamic
Studies. Hijirah holiday must be declared just like Osun State. Coroner law must
be amended to allow Muslims to claim their corpses for burial without delay. Cremation
of corpses must stop.
division must be created in the judiciary for Muslims who wish to opt for Shariah
legal system. Political appointments and promotions should be fair and
balanced, state sponsored decoration of streets and highways in preparation for
Christmas including Countdown to the Gregorian New Year Day must either stop or
extended to Muslim festivals as well, and Friday must be declared as HALF WORK and HALF SCHOOL day
to enable Muslims attend Jumat service with their family. In short we call on
the government to establish parity.
restate that the JMF is non- political, and not for profit organisation. We are not terrorists. We are not
arsonists. We promote peace. We abhor violence. We despise terrorism and
aggression. Our methodology is Dialogue and Prayer. Our permanent INTEREST is freedom
of worship and justice for all.
avoidance of doubt, our purpose here today is not to reiterate the
marginalisation and discrimination against Muslims in the state per se, but to
call on all and sundry to dissociate themselves and reject any governorship
candidate that may emerge from any of the political parties on the basis of religion
or anointed sponsorship. Let candidates put themselves forward and freely
canvass for support without any form of religious interference.
I thank you
for honouring our invitation. Allah Bless You All.
The text of
the press conference was signed by about 28 Islamic organisations including The
Companion, Movement for Islamic Cultural Awareness (MICA), Muslim Students
Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), National Council of
Muslim Youth Organisations (NACOMYO), The Criterion, Muslim Welfare Fund
(MUWELF), etc. The text was read at the event by Alhaji Wale Sonaike, Acting
Chairman of JMF.
occasion was well attended and the venue, Rahmatu Islamiyyah Hall, was filled
beyond capacity as many people stood outside.
The Joint Muslim Forum
(JMF) invites Muslim brothers & sisters to a press conference on Hijab Judgement on Thursday,
23/10/14by 11 am. Venue:
Rahmat Islamiyyah Hall, 3,Muslim Avenue, off Unity Rd, off Toyin Str,
We must all attend
this press conference to prove that we really want hijab. Spread the message.
Re-BC to all contacts.
The Nigerian Chief of Defence Staff, General Alex Badeh today
confirmed reports that the Federal Government (FG) and Boko Haram insurgents
have signed a ceasefire agreement. Consequently, he has directed all field
officers in the troubled areas to comply immediately.
Rights Concern (MURIC) warmly welcomes this development. Boko Haram
insurgency has cost Nigeria most dearly. Over 3,000 lives have been lost while
properties worth billions of naira have been destroyed. The country’s image has
also suffered worldwide while individual Nigerian citizens in diaspora have
paid one price or the other.
congratulates the FG for achieving this historical feat.We affirm that no price is too high to
bring peace to the North East and consequently to the entire country. We
therefore urge the Nigerian authorities to build on this achievement by going
beyond a ceasefire.
In particular, FG must push for the
release of the Chibok girls from captivity. This will definitely put smiles on the
lips of the suffering parents once again. The release of the Chibok girls
should be followed by serious dialogue with Boko Haram aimed at discontinuing
the orgy of violence in the North East.
In view of the fact that the casus belli of the
insurgence has been traced to ignorance, idleness and joblessness, the next task should be to develop impoverished areaswhere extremism takes root and to extend
the tentacles of education to all nooks and cranies of the North East. Thereafter,
the youths of the sub-region must be engaged by giving them economic
opportunities. It must be a total overhaul
necessitating the creation of a North East development board as well as a ministry
of North Eastern Nigeria.
MURIC charges the Federal Government to rigorously pursue these
objectives knowing very well that it is always better to build peace because no
matter how expensive the exercise, war is far more expensive, more painful,
The Federal Government
(FG) has warned South Africa about its business investments in Nigeria like MTN
and DSTV. It reminded South Africa how it has hitherto provided a conducive
business atmosphere for it to operate unhindered.
The warning came as a
fallout of the diplomatic row between the two countries over the seizure of
large amounts of money sent by the Nigerian government purportedly for the
purchase of arms to fight insurgency. It will be recalled that the sum of $9.3
million was seized by the South African government about three weeks ago while
another $5.7 million was again seized two days ago.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) regards FG’s warning to
South Africa as subtle blackmail. So FG can fight South African companies now? Where
were you when MTN was milking us dry? Where were you when poor workers were
being forced to buy sim cards at the rate of N33,000 each? Are you aware that
the same sim cards now sell for N50 only today and sometimes given out free?
We know the meaning of
providing “a beneficial environment for South African companies like MTN, DSTV
and a host of others to do business unhindered”. Our government looked
the other way as MTN exploited the Nigerian jamaheer (masses). As a digression
we may ask FG if it is true that top Nigerian officials and members of the
National Assembly use toll-free MTN sim cards. Does Aso Rock recharge its MTN
sims? Our leaders allow service providers to skin us to a pulp just because the
leaders enjoy toll-free calls 2-4-7! Nigerians are victims of divide et
Yet we cannot blame South
African companies which did legitimate business in Nigeria unlike our own government
which seeks to conduct illegal and clumsy transactions in a foreign land, a
land where executive impunity is taboo, a land where there are no sacred cows, a
land that respects due process and the rule of law. Now the wind has blown and
we have seen the ruff of the hen. FG should stop leading Nigerians by the nose.
Can FG really fight
South Africa over this scandal? For instance, can FG ask Nigerians to boycott
South African products? Will Nigerians support their government in this fight? The
reality is that FG needs its citizens to fight South Africa. This is not likely
with the current disconnect between the Nigerian rulers and the citizenry.
For FG therefore, asking Nigerians to boycott South
African products is not even a viable option. FG has lost the moral right to do
that.There is hunger in the land. Thousands are homeless and hopeless. Our
graduates are jobless and all FG can do is to ask them to drop their MTN sim
cards and their beloved DSTV. We advise FG not to step on the cobra’s tail.
MURIC reminds FG that leaders command respect through refined
and dignifying behaviorand taking the tax-payer’s money out
through the backdoor has already deleted the words ‘dignity’ and ‘integrity’
from FG’s vocabulary. Patriotism cannot be pushed down people’s throats, it
flows naturally down the funnel of good leadership.
Nigerians will be
proud of their country when kleptomania in government circles becomes an alien
culture; when there is respect for the rule of law; when 16 ceases to be higher
than 19; when opposition figures, their vehicles and their aircrafts enjoy
freedom of movement; when the police give due respect to opposition governors
and the judiciary; when the party secretariats of the opposition are respected;
when probity and accountability reigns; when…
In fact Nigerians are
presently grateful to the South African authorities for exposing these illegal
deals. Africans say everyday is for the thief, the owner has one day only and
that single day is like D-day. This is what has happened.
respect. Those who voted for President Jonathan deserve better treatment. FG is
dehumanizing Nigerians by ignoring every request for explanation when something
Has President Jonathan addressed Nigerians over the first
$9.3 million? Has he given any explanation on the new $5.7 million? Where is
our $20 billion? Where is our $10 billion? What happened to Stella Oduah’s
FG acted with impunity
in each of these cases but as we say in Africa, “A child who rejects
home-training will be taught the lesson of his life outside”. That is what
South Africa has done to FG. Nigerians are happy that their arrogant government
met its Waterloo in Pretoria. Nobody should expect the over-worked, under-paid
and over-taxed jamaheer to fight FG’s battle. Those who eat alone must fight
We put it to FG that the money seized by the South
African authorities was not meant to better the lot of Nigerians anyway. FG’s
excuse is sheer afterthought while its warning is in bad taste. We advise FG
not to play the bully with South Africa. Nigeria is not in a position to adopt
Finally, we advise FG
not to carry out its threat against South African businesses in the country
because this is capable of backfiring. Thousands of Nigerians engage in
legitimate works in South Africa. These innocent Nigerians will be exposed to
both economic and physical threats if Nigeria hits South Africa’s business
interests. Unlike Nigerians who are unhappy with their government, South
Africans will quickly align with their government and treat every Nigerian on
the street like a thief and a rogue.
MUSLIM CANDIDATE PLANS TO CONVERT TO CHRISTIANITY
Our office has been inundated with requests for the
clarification of a rumour currently going viral about a presidential candidate
of the All Progressives Party (APC) who ‘plans’ to convert to Christianity in
order to win the 2015 presidential election. The candidate was alleged to have
said, “I can become a Christian if necessary so as to rule Nigeria”. This rumour is being spread on facebook in
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) wishes to debunk this wicked
propaganda. It is false, baseless, malicious and calculated not only to tarnish
the image of the Muslim candidate but also to destroy his chance at the polls. It
is total balderdash.
The rumour is obviously a dirty political gimmick which could
only have been resorted to by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in its
desperation to cling to power at all cost. Knowing that it is sacriledge in
Islam for a Muslim to desert his faith, PDP intends to paint the Muslim
candidate as extremely desperate, so desperate that he was ready to dump Islam
The calculation is
that by selling this wicked dummy, the candidate would lose his teeming Muslim
supporters. It is an attempt at eliminating a political opponent by
subterfuge. It is demeaning, insulting and ridiculous. It is infra
MURIC is aware of at least three presidential candidates in the
APC, viz: former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Governor Musa Kwankwaso
of Kano and former head of state Gen. (rtd) Muhammadu Buhari. We affirm that
all three Muslim candidates are fine gentlemen and good Muslims who cannot
contemplate the idea of leaving Islam for any other religion.
MURIC again warns the
ruling party to desist from demonising Islam. Nigerian Muslims have no anointed
Neither does MURIC, which is no more than a non-violent, dialogue-committed
Islamic human rights organization promoting Allah-given and fundamental human
rights of Muslims and other Nigerians. We advocate voting based on conviction
about candidates’ capabilities, not along religious lines. We also wish to remind the PDP in
particular and Nigerians in general that Muslims exist as members in all
political parties, the PDP inclusive.
We therefore advise the ruling party to stop playing religious politics.
If the PDP has mortgaged the franchise of its members nationwide by imposing
President Jonathan as its sole candidate, it should not attempt the ‘elimination
by substitution’ trick on its most feared candidate in the opposition party.
Finally, MURIC advises APC leaders not to commit the same
political blunder like the ruling party. All candidates must be given a level
playing field during the primaries while no single religion must occupy the two
main slots as presidential candidate and the running mate.
ANOTHER $5.7M SEIZED IN SOUTH AFRICA:
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
The South African Asset
Forfeiture Unit of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has allegedly
seized another $5.7 million belonging to the Federal Government of Nigeria. It
will be recalled that the whopping sum of $9.3 million was seized in the same
manner last month in the same country.
The Muslim Rights
Concern (MURIC) is greatly perturbed by this festival of international
embarrassments as a result of clandestine misadventures of the Nigerian
We told Nigerians when
the first incident occurred that there was more to it than met the eyes. We
have been proved right. With this second international misconduct, we are
convinced that our government has been engaging in this criminal act for long.
We strongly suspect that billions of dollars have been
siphoned outside this country by the powers of today. It cannot be South Africa
alone. Fortunes must have been illegally shipped to Eastern Europe, Switzerland
and South America. Israel must also have been seen as a safe haven by the
kleptomaniacs in government.
It is needless asking
the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt
Practices Commission (ICPC) to investigate. They cannot investigate their
employer. President Jonathan institutionalized corruption when on 5th
May, 2014 he described “70% of corruption cases” in Nigeria as “common
stealing”. That statement was meant for Nigeria’s anti-graft agencies. The top
echelons of the Federal Government appear to possess the noun ‘thief’ and the
verb ‘to steal’.
Apart from the
corruption angle, the involvement of the president of the Christian Association
of Nigeria (CAN) in one of the deals is still a curious development. It evolves
a conspiracy theory capable of igniting tension between Christians and Muslims.
The National Assembly must not desert the electorate at
this crucial hour. Our legislators must ask probing questions on our behalf.
There must be no sacred cows. Enough is enough.
MURIC appeals to the
international community not to leave Nigeria alone in these trying times. We
call on other countries through which Nigerian money has been ferried to speak
up. We charge the United Nations to institute an international investigation
into these cases of money-laundering and illegal arms deals.
Nigerian Muslims will
today join millions of others across the globe in marking the Id ul-Kabiir.
The Muslim Rights
Concern (MURIC) seizes the opportunity of this grand event to felicitate with
the leadership of the Nigerian Muslim community, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’d Abubakar
III, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council
for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), all Nigerian Muslims and every Nigerian citizen
who is witnessing the occasion today.
We remind Nigerian leaders of the core lesson in Id
ul-Kabiir which is sacrifice.Prophet Ibraheem (peace be upon him)
who is the father of the Ibrahimic faiths remains a universal model today
because of the huge sacrifice he made by offering to sacrifice his son.
His exemplary role
therefore became a model for both Muslims and Christians because the same
Ibraheem (Abraham) was the father of both Ishaq and Ismail (Isaac and Ishmael,
peace be upon both of them) who were the forebearers of Islam and Christianity
Our leaders must ask themselves why the Nigerian
president have ten aircrafts when the American president has two only? What is our
president doing with twenty five official cars when the British Prime Minister
has only two?
Why does a Nigerian
senator earn N245 million per year when his counterpart in the United States
collects a meager $6,000 (approximately N990,000 @ N165 to $1) annually. Why
must Nigeria have about 42 cabinet ministers when the US has 24 only?
Excellence is being
sacrificed on the altar of mediocrity. Nigeria is being mortgaged unless our
leaders follow the Abrahamic model. Except for a few among them, the present
leaders are not making the necessary sacrifices. Neither are they living by
example. Otherwise the case of the missing $20 billion would not have been
swept under the carpet. Neither would those who preach cashlessness siphon
$9.3m to Pretoria. International criminals are granted state pardon and given
agencies have taken the cue from our leadership, treating corruption cases with
kid gloves. MURIC is shocked that at a time when the Ghanaian president fired a
minister for merely wishing to be rich (February 2014), President Jonathan on May 5, 2014 described
70% of corruption cases in Nigeria as “common stealing”.
No wonder, therefore,
that Ekpo Nta , the chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission
(ICPC), one of Nigeria’s anti-corruption agencies, taking the cue from his boss
in Aso Rock, said “stealing is erroneously reported as corruption” even by the “educated”.
How then can we expect ICPC to seriously tackle any corruption case?
Nigerians have no business being poor if it is true that
this country produces 2.4 million barrels of oil per day and sell the oil at
N93.61 per barrel. No Nigerian should sleep under the
bridge if it is true that we make $224 million per day from the same oil alone.
This daily income from oil gives us $81 billion or N12.8 trillion per annum.
Paradoxically, Nigeria remains the 20th hungriest nation and the 26th
poorest country in the world.
If our budget for year 2014 is N4.6 trillion and our
annual income from oil alone is N12.8 trillion, what business have we going out
to borrow a single dollar from outside? The sum of $1 billion loan approved by
Senate for President Jonathan to buy weapons to fight Boko Haram was therefore a
70% of Nigerian school
children failed in the last West African Examination Council tests. 1 million
Nigerians are totally blind. 32 million have river blindness. 300,000 die of
malaria every year. 30 million are hypertensive. 4 million suffer from diabetes.
80 million Nigerians live below poverty level. The average Nigerian lives on
less than $1 per day. Per capita income is around $300. Life span in Nigeria which was 74 before independence is now 47!
So where are we going? Forward or backward?
invites Nigerian leaders, from Aso Rock to the local government councils to
reflect on the sufferings of millions of Nigerian citizens and make palpable
sacrifices before it is too late. We call the attention of President Jonathan to
Article 14:2(b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
which says inter alia, “the security and welfare of the people shall be the
primary purpose of government”.
Finally, we offer the following pieces of advice for the
way forward in Nigeria:
1.There must be huge cuts in government’s spending at all levels.
2.The salaries and other emoluments of public officers and members of the
National Assembly should be drastically reduced.
3.Corruption agencies must be given full autonomy in such a way that their
appointment, funding and dismissal should not be in the hands of the Nigerian
4.No public office holder should be allowed to train his children or wards
abroad (this will make them pay attention to the education of Nigerian
5.No public office holder should seek
medical attention outside the country. This will compel them to improve the health
sector at home.
6.Public officers should be banned from using helicopters or private jets to
shuttle from one part of the country to another. This will force them to build
good roads for us.
Qur’an 33:68 attests to the fate of corrupt and inept
leaders on the Day of Judgement when their citizens will accuse them of
mismanaging their affairs and they will ask Allah to double the punishment of
such leaders (rabbana atihim di’fayn minal adhab).